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Old 06-26-2012, 01:46 PM   #1
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strange noise

We had raised our 2004 25' Classic up to clean the aluminum wheels and I wanted to check to see if the brakes needed adjusted. All but one felt and sounded great, but I felt they could all use some adjustment. The rear driver's side is making a sound of "something loose" when I would spin the wheel in reverse. I attempted to tighten the brakes and was unable to make the shoes contact the drum to stop the rotation. I pulled the hub, here is where my lack of knowledge comes into play, the only thing that I could blame the noise on was the actuating lever the holds the magnet and leverages the brake shoes. Not certain if it is supposed to be loose or if that is the way it is supposed to be. Put a straight edge on the magnet and it appears to be pretty straight. Any ideas on why the actuating lever would be making a noise? It's as though it is loose and contacting something? The brake shoes appear fine with between 1/8 - 3/16" of lining left. The wheel bearings were repacked before I purchased the trailer (Dec 11) at a Midas shop, but I didn't see any charge for new seals, so I am going to repack all of them. Any ideas on my "noise" and why I am unable to adjust the brake shoes to contact the drum.
Thanks,
Rod
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:03 PM   #2
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update

After pulling the front hub, unable to tell anything different in the workings of the actuator arm. Both are somewhat loose by design. Called Dexter and they felt by adjusting the brakes the noise will disappear. I am quite positive the brakes have never been adjusted and after squirting some penetrating oil on the adjusters and tightening the shoes with the hubs off, I am sure that I can adjust the brakes. The bearings and races look great, waiting on the rear seals to reassemble and adjust. Plan on using Mobil 1 synthetic wheel bearing grease, anyone have any opinions pro or con on Mobil 1?
I will keep an update on results
Rod
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:26 PM   #3
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Grease

Mobile One = GOOD Grease.

For the money, you can't beat it. It stys grease even when water is introduced. Been using it on/in my trucks for years!

Wal-Mart used to carry it up until 2 years ago. About $10 a tube/tub.

Here is a tip I use to pack the bearings....
If you have access to a vacuum food saver, shmear a generous amount of grease on the outer portion of the bearing, stick it. or several bearings in a bag then suck the air out, Magically the grease is drawn into the bearing PERFECTLY! I always carry a few like this in my stash of parts. Always ready to go, no grease to carry, and makes wuick work of an unpleasant job away from home!

Have fun!
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:16 PM   #4
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You say you could not get the star wheel to cause the shoes to engage the drums. From your picture the star wheel is almost fully retracted and would not cause normal shoes to engage. While the drum is off make sure you can turn the star wheel and note the direction required to cause it to extend. If someone had backed the star wheel off excessively it could take 20 more clicks to get it to touch the drum.

Odds are if there was not a charge for seals they never removed the old ones and never greased the inner bearing other than to just wipe some new grease in there.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:31 PM   #5
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One other thing ---- checkthe heads of the wheel studs to make sure they're all fully seated and not lightly clipping the magnet as you rotate the wheel. The other possibility would be a slightly bent wheel. The "art" of repacking wheel bearings correctly is quickly being loss to the new breed of mechanics. That's why so many of us like (---or reluctantly "choose") to do our own!
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:54 AM   #6
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Thanks

I am impressed with the vacuum packing the bearings with grease tip, ingenious. I am more that certain that the bearings were given a cosmetic repacking, as it is obvious the seal had never been replaced and the rear bearing had a dark grease in the cage with red grease smeared around it. I have the receipts from the PO's two times that the bearing were "repacked", neither show parts cost for the seals, and he spent the best part of $300 each time. Luckily the trailer wasn't used much, and not towed any distance. The only real way to make sure something is done right is to do it yourself. I did excercise the star adjuster, and am confident that we will get the brakes adjusted correctly. I have stared at the brake assembly so long that I dreamt about it, and can't see the cause for the noise. Will see what happens when the brakes get adjusted, and I am sure they have never been adjusted before.
Thanks to all,
Rod & Jane
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
Here is a tip I use to pack the bearings....
If you have access to a vacuum food saver, shmear a generous amount of grease on the outer portion of the bearing, stick it. or several bearings in a bag then suck the air out, Magically the grease is drawn into the bearing PERFECTLY!
Never heard of this but it sure sounds like a winner, very creative.

Gary
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:18 PM   #8
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noise is gone

Received the rear seals from Outdoors Mart, they are exactly the same that I had removed from the hubs, quite possibly the original seals. Very fast service, great price and high quality seals from ODMRV, and honest shipping price, highly recommended. Put everything back together and no "strange noise". The brakes did require considerable adjustment, and will be anxious to try them out, and most likely will require some adjustment of the controller as well. Will start on the other side tomorrow, early tomorrow to beat this terrible heat.
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:56 PM   #9
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Test Run

Got everything back together, bearings inspected and repacked. Adjusted all of the brakes, tightening until drum was stopped, then loosening 1 click, which enabled the wheel to turn freely. I was expecting a pretty dramatic improvement in the braking, and while it might be marginally better, still does not come close to being able to lock the tires up. With full gain on my controller, and only using my trailer brakes a 20 mph to 0 stop doesn't feel too bad, but is definitely not "neck snapping" stuff. This is my first experience with trailer brakes, so I am not real certain on what I should expect, so feedback would certainly be appreciated.

Thanks,

Rod
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:30 PM   #10
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First I would question that you only had to back of the star wheel one click to get free turning. Generally the instructions are 3 to 4 clicks and even then it is common to have a high spot drag while turning the wheel.

How far did you drive before you tested the brakes. If tight they could heat up in a few miles to the point of FADE an thus minimal braking.

If brakes are working you should be able to lock the wheels at speeds below 25 mph with the controller set high. Then back off a little at a time till they no longer lock at that speed. That is the set point.

Is there a amp meter on your controller. At full power you should read 12 to 14 amps for 4 wheels and about 18 amps for 6 wheels. Things that will reduce the current getting to the brakes are undersized wire and poor connection anywhere in the system.

Another test would be to jack up one side and while someone is at the manual controller spin a wheel and have them put full manual power to the controller. The wheel should slam to a stop. Any indication of a trend to continue turning indicates a problem.

Did the noise go away?
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:23 AM   #11
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Brakes

The noise is gone.

The controller is the Ford factory installed unit and has no amp readout. I am going over the testing procedure, per Dexter, and plan on testing to see if there might be a problem. This heat wave has made doing anything outside almost impossible. I don't think the brake shoes had ever been adjusted, and possibly need just a little more use to get set into the drums. As soon as I get the chance, will report back.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:47 AM   #12
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Even if the shoes have never been adjusted and appear new the jack up spin test should still give you a test of the system and slam the brakes.

As for the Ford controller. I had a friend that had no brakes and even after adjusting them the Ford controller would not stop them during the spin test. If you have another controller or can borrow one for a day or 2 I would wire it in and see if there is a difference.

Check the size of the wire Ford used. The "bean counters" are cheap and may have undersized the wire to save a buck. This would cause a voltage drop. I wire my TV with #10 wire for the brakes.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:24 AM   #13
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Spin the wheels and pull the break away pin. If they slam on the brakes are OK and it's the controller or the truck wiring.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:34 AM   #14
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Good test but don't leave that pin out too long as that is full current and has been known to melt wires if they are undersized.
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